Objective Morality
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10-04-2014, 09:03 PM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2014 04:23 AM by living thing.)
RE: Objective Morality
(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  Fine how are you?
I’m very well, thank you. Happy to be able to chat. Let’s see if we can understand each other.

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  1. Some people think that murder is wrong.
2. Some people think that murder is right.

Evolution evolved both kinds of people. Those who murdered each other didn't survive (obviously), those who thought that murder was wrong helped each other and survived. That is called natural selection. We are mostly descendants after those who helped each other and survived so that is how our brains are wired. There are 7 billion on the planet and under 500 000 murderers. Not murdering people and helping them instead has proven to be a most advantageous survival strategy.
I’d say we’re mostly descendants after those who warred against pretty much everyone else endlessly, because if there is one single word that can summarise the relationships among human beings throughout history, that has to be war; it still amazes me how enormously and extraordinarily lucky I am to be alive.

But I do agree with you when you describe mutual help as a most advantageous survival strategy; that is one of the most obvious pieces of information that I find not only in my environment, but also in myself: I am the product of mutual cooperation in many levels of my structure.

Through cooperation, all participants in an interaction gain benefits that none of them would be able to gain on their own. That is why I sometimes find it frustrating living among a species that is so obsessed with competition. Many people waste their lives away constantly proclaiming how great they are, without realising that the greatness of humanity could be more than simply our greatness times seven billion. Humanity could be the thing that exports life out of this stellar system before the stellar system becomes inhospitable (who can put that on his/her CV?) but only if we only help each other to achieve it. Competing to see who can write his name in biggest golden letters won’t help.

However, I cannot agree with your transitive use of the verb “evolve”, especially when the subject of the sentence is “evolution”; I don’t think we understand evolution in the same way. But I’m not saying you’re wrong; I understand that I may be mistaken.

In my view, “evolve” is an intransitive verb; it doesn’t take a direct object. Things don’t evolve things, but they evolve from one state to another, and the evolution of a system is a description of how it changes over a period of time. The notion you seem to attach to the verb “evolve” is the notion I would attach to the verb “develop”, meaning something like generating, producing, adding complexity and so on. But the fact that you use the word “evolution” as the subject in the sentence, suggests to me that you view evolution as an entity capable of performing actions, which I find unbelieveble. When you describe your view of evolution, I just see god playing his miracles again, only this time using a strange language in which evolve means develop.

With all due respect, are you really sure you understand the notion of evolution? Because you’re not taking into account at all the randomness in random variation. Is this evolution thing also capable of slamming molecules together as if by chance, in order to make their interactions look random? And why bringing in randomness, if it already knows the objectively right outcome it expects? I think it would be honest of you if you simply called it God. If you want this theology to look “scientific”, you can say “God evolved both kinds of people”.

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  It's A Safe House For Good Bacteria http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200...102334.htm

I thank you for an interesting article; I did choose an inappropriate example. But you haven’t really addressed the issue of local maxima vs. global maxima. Due to the random component in random variation, the solutions found through this process are optimal but not necessarily the most optimal. If the solutions found through random variation and environmental selection are not the most optimal, how can this evolution thing know what is objectively right?

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  I can't go into which organisms have a survival instinct and where the line goes... I was talking about humans.
Why? Does this evolution thing only operate on humans? Are we its favourite species? Are we the pinnacle of its creation?

If your arguments about evolution are applicable to human beings, they must also be applicable to non-human living beings.

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  And of course it [accepting human suicides] is [objectively right] if the suicide helps others survive.
I thought people who killed themselves were ill.

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  Hypothetical situation: If something had gone wrong in a nuclear power plant and you were the only one who could fix it but there was radiation and no time to fiddle with any survival gear, wouldn't you give your life to save the city?
If something goes wrong in a nuclear power plant and I am the only one who can fix it but there is radiation and no time to fiddle with survival gear, I am afraid we’re all fucked because I know nothing about fixing nuclear power plants.

I might tell you that “yes, of course, I’d be a hero”, then find myself in the situation you describe, and then learn that being a hero is a lot more difficult than claiming to be one, so why bother claiming it? I’d be rejoicing on a false sense of heroicity. Whether I will ever “give” my life for others, or not, is something I will never know, because for as long as I am able to know, I won’t have “given” my life to anyone.

But leaf cells aren’t saviours who die heroically for their tree; they are just tiny bags of molecules reacting to their environment.

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  There's snow. There's a black rabbit and a white rabbit. The predator can't see the white rabbit on the white snow. He catches and eats the black rabbit. White rabbits are naturally selected for and survive.
You are aware that the predator is part of the rabbit’s environment, aren’t you?

There is a dying female wolf with two puppies. An adventurous human being collects both puppies and raises them near his own family. One puppy is rather tame, but the other is rather aggresive and bites the human’s child. The human kills the aggresive puppy. Tameness is artificially selected for and tame animals survive.

Where can we draw the line between natural selection and artificial selection? I don’t really care, it’s all environmental selection to me. The human is as much part of the aggresive puppy’s environment as the predator is of the white rabbit’s. But while your natural selection requires an abstract nature that is somehow able to distinguish right from wrong, my environmental selection simply requires an environment, and I have more than enough evidence about an external environment to assume its existence. So even if Darwin himself visits my dreams tonight insisting that the expression he coined was “natural selection”, I will keep calling it environmental selection because, in my mind, it makes more sense.

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  The appropriate action would be to restrain this person in some way and let the authorities take care of him. If the person attacked you and you have to kill him to avoid him killing you it would be self defense and perfectly moral.
I didn’t say it was appropriate, I said it was understandable. I don’t recommend anyone following that course of action, because killing someone else can bring back many undesirable consequences, and not all of them legal. But if I heard of such behaviour, I wouldn’t be afraid of such behaviour because I don’t see myself as a target for that kind of murderer. And if the rapist had lived anywhere near my niecews (if I may use that word) the murderer may have done my family a very big favour, so I wouldn’t demand his prosecution.

But you see, I describe my own behaviours. I’m not even trying to tell you how you should behave because that is a task for your brain to decide. However, you seem to think that you somehow have the authority to tell other people how they should behave, as if other people didn’t have their own brains. Are you Evolution’s representative on Earth, or what?

(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  Surviving as in surviving for as long as possible then…
No, because it leads to a contradiction.

Your initial claim was that “what is objectively moral is what causes survival and what is objectively immoral is what causes non-survival”. Surviving for any length of time that is less than an eternity is non-survival, so anything that causes a non-everlasting survival is objectively immoral, and it therefore cannot be used to define what is objectively moral.

(10-04-2014 01:38 PM)Artie Wrote:  Let me ask you:

1. Person number 1: Murder is right (subjective opinion)
2. Person number 2: Murder is wrong (subjective opinion)

Where would you go to check who's right (morally correct) of them? God, evolution, some other place?
I wouldn’t go anywhere, because a) my opinion is irrelevant, I’m not arguing with persons #1 or #2; b) I can only resort to abstract notions that appear in my mind over time, but they’re not located anywhere in space; and c) I cannot even evaluate whether I consider that particular murder subjectively right or wrong, because you do not provide any context.

Anyway, Artie. I’d like to explore other topics in other threads, so I may not pay the same attention to this thread from here on. I cannot say I have become convinced by your view, but that is just my personality; I’m not even convinced by my own view and I try to draw that one from reality.

Take care. Thanks for the chat!

(Edited to fix typo)
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11-04-2014, 12:45 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2014 12:49 AM by Artie.)
RE: Objective Morality
(10-04-2014 05:43 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Yes correct, I have no concept of "right" and "wrong".

This is not to say that I can't foresee the impact or consequences of my own actions.
I understand that if I kill someone it may make some people very sad, distraught, angry etc. I also understand it may make people view me as a dangerous threat and motivate them to remove the danger (a.k.a. me) from society.

I think simplifying this reasoning and thinking process (into the framework and language of morality) offers no value but instead is confusing because each person thinks differently, has different values, different experiences, different goals.
I understand that "each person thinks differently, has different values, different experiences, different goals." But their ability to think and reason is also different. Not everybody is capable of logical and rational reasoning. But we still have to live with them. So what do we do? Practically all of us have one thing in common. We want to live. We have a survival instinct. So what do we do to ensure that these people are an asset to us and not a threat? We simplify this reasoning and thinking process you speak of for them into moral rules such as the Golden Rule so simple that most can't help understand that it would be beneficial for them to live by it. And we have religious authority figures like Jesus tell these people that if they live by the Golden Rule they will survive forever.
Quote:This isn't to say that I advocate an anarchy society. I don't. I want to live within a society of humans. In order to do that I want some laws to protect me and to influence a society that I can feel safe within. But I put some strong balances and checks onto those laws. I don't want them to be merely on personal opinions of right and wrong. Not even based on my own opinions. I want laws to be firmly grounded in what makes society safe and stable rather than moral.
And moral laws such as the Golden Rule makes society safe and stable. That is why they evolved. Because even though everybody are different if all agree on a simple common denominator, a behavior so simple that even the most irrational and illogical person can't help understand that if he behaved that way it would benefit him, then we increase the safety and stability of the society. Which is why these moral codes evolved in the first place.
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11-04-2014, 01:13 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(11-04-2014 12:45 AM)Artie Wrote:  And we have religious authority figures like Jesus tell these people that if they live by the Golden Rule they will survive forever.
Your position on morality is that we should lie to people?

(11-04-2014 12:45 AM)Artie Wrote:  And moral laws such as the Golden Rule makes society safe and stable.
When you try to simplify the purpose behind the laws of society by calling them morality then you confuse people.
Next minute the Christians want to outlaw homosexuals, or outlaw prostitution, or outlaw woman drivers, or outlaw abortion, or outlaw sex education and contraceptives.

How do we argue the point against these laws?
I tell them that society will be safe and functioning even with married gay people.
They say "so what, we don't want an immoral society, gay marriage is immoral it must be outlawed!"

People whom believe in morality want to control others, they want to rid the world of immoral behaviour. This creates conflict and oppression.
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11-04-2014, 02:12 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(10-04-2014 09:03 PM)living thing Wrote:  I’d say we’re mostly descendants after those who warred against pretty much everyone else endlessly, because if there is one single word that can summarise the relationships among human beings throughout history, that has to be war; it still amazes me how enormously and extraordinarily lucky I am to be alive.
I was talking about murder you are talking about war.
Quote:But I do agree with you when you describe mutual help as a most advantageous survival strategy; that is one of the most obvious pieces of information that I find not only in my environment, but also in myself: I am the product of mutual cooperation in many levels of my structure.
And one of the reasons you are alive is a constant war between your immune system and foreign invaders. See countries as bodies.
Quote:the fact that you use the word “evolution” as the subject in the sentence, suggests to me that you view evolution as an entity capable of performing actions, which I find unbelieveble. When you describe your view of evolution, I just see god playing his miracles again, only this time using a strange language in which evolve means develop.
Evolution by natural selection is an automatic process.
Quote:With all due respect, are you really sure you understand the notion of evolution? Because you’re not taking into account at all the randomness in random variation. Is this evolution thing also capable of slamming molecules together as if by chance, in order to make their interactions look random? And why bringing in randomness, if it already knows the objectively right outcome it expects? I think it would be honest of you if you simply called it God. If you want this theology to look “scientific”, you can say “God evolved both kinds of people”.
The way you describe evolution here is so completely and utterly misunderstood that I recommend you read http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Dummies-...0470117737 which is a very good beginners book. I have skipped your later questions about evolution and we can discuss them again after you have read this book.
(10-04-2014 09:09 AM)Artie Wrote:  There's snow. There's a black rabbit and a white rabbit. The predator can't see the white rabbit on the white snow. He catches and eats the black rabbit. White rabbits are naturally selected for and survive.
Quote:You are aware that the predator is part of the rabbit’s environment, aren’t you?
Yes, that is why we call it natural selection because nature doesn't have an awareness and isn't consciously aware that it is doing it.
Quote:There is a dying female wolf with two puppies. An adventurous human being collects both puppies and raises them near his own family. One puppy is rather tame, but the other is rather aggresive and bites the human’s child. The human kills the aggresive puppy. Tameness is artificially selected for and tame animals survive.

Where can we draw the line between natural selection and artificial selection?
Artificial selection is when it is done consciously to promote some desired appearance or behavior.
Quote:But you see, I describe my own behaviours. I’m not even trying to tell you how you should behave because that is a task for your brain to decide. However, you seem to think that you somehow have the authority to tell other people how they should behave, as if other people didn’t have their own brains. Are you Evolution’s representative on Earth, or what?
No, I have a survival instinct so I don't want to be killed. Most of us don't. We evolved moral codes such as the golden rule because living by them improved our chances of not getting killed. I explain to others how and why we got these codes and that we should live by them so we can live long and happy lives instead of dying prematurely from immoral actions.
Quote:Your initial claim was that “what is objectively moral is what causes survival and what is objectively immoral is what causes non-survival”. Surviving for any length of time that is less than an eternity is non-survival, so anything that causes a non-everlasting survival is objectively immoral, and it therefore cannot be used to define what is objectively moral.
Survival as in avoiding premature death from immoral actions performed by others.
Quote:Anyway, Artie. I’d like to explore other topics in other threads, so I may not pay the same attention to this thread from here on. I cannot say I have become convinced by your view, but that is just my personality; I’m not even convinced by my own view and I try to draw that one from reality.

Take care. Thanks for the chat!
You're welcome. Don't take it the wrong way but reading and trying to make sense of your reasoning is very confusing and bewildering. It is as if you come from a different dimension where logic and reason is different from ours. It is as if you are claiming that 2+2=5 and I am trying to figure out how you managed to get to that conclusion and at the same time trying to explain to you how we got to the conclusion that 2+2=4. It's strange... Smile
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11-04-2014, 02:49 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2014 02:59 AM by Artie.)
RE: Objective Morality
(11-04-2014 01:13 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Your position on morality is that we should lie to people?
Better than risk them going around murdering people.
(11-04-2014 12:45 AM)Artie Wrote:  And moral laws such as the Golden Rule makes society safe and stable.
Quote:When you try to simplify the purpose behind the laws of society by calling them morality then you confuse people.
The point is to make the already confused people who might not care about or understand the laws of society live by them by simplifying them into a simple moral law that even they understand would be advantageous for them to follow.
Quote:Next minute the Christians want to outlaw homosexuals, or outlaw prostitution, or outlaw woman drivers, or outlaw abortion, or outlaw sex education and contraceptives.

How do we argue the point against these laws?
My point exactly. You can't because they don't have the reasoning ability to understand your arguments. Some people need simple moral absolutes and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

You are assuming that children are always intelligent and rational. If your child is you can explain rationally and logically the reasons why he should do this and that. If not you just have to make him respect or fear you, make the instructions as simple as possible and say "Because I say so!" and trust that he listens out of respect or fear. Religion.
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11-04-2014, 04:04 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(11-04-2014 02:49 AM)Artie Wrote:  Some people need simple moral absolutes and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

FUCK YOU. Jesus Fucking Christ on a broomstick. You FUCKING RETARD. You start with your philosophical bullshit and receive a lot of serious answers and attention and when you're *finally* cornered you pull this fucking argument out of your ass that your view might not be true but it's better if stupid people believe it.

Fuck off and troll somewhere else. Arrogant dick.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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11-04-2014, 04:43 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(11-04-2014 02:49 AM)Artie Wrote:  My point exactly. You can't because they don't have the reasoning ability to understand your arguments. Some people need simple moral absolutes and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
If you give people the idea that morality is the basis for law then people will look to force their own brand of morality onto society.
Christians will always look to the Bible as the source of moral absolutes.
Muslims will always look to the Quran
Jews the Torah etc

Thus we have wars, death, destruction and oppression.

All because people believe in moral absolutes.
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11-04-2014, 05:27 AM
RE: Objective Morality
From RationalWicki on Trolls.

Characteristics
A troll usually has little or no interest in contributing to the development of the site in question and is interested in some or all of the following:
Deliberately angering people.
Breaking the normal flow of debate/discussion.
Disrupting the smooth operation of the site.
Deliberately being annoying for the sake of being obnoxious. For instance, using abusive names to refer to all the members on the site.
Pretending to be profoundly ignorant
 or stupid
, gleaning some weird sense of having "won"

 when other users subsequently come to believe this.
Making itself the main topic of interest or discussion.[2]

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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11-04-2014, 05:55 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(11-04-2014 04:04 AM)morondog Wrote:  Jesus Fucking Christ on a broomstick.

Not broomstick, rollerblades.

[Image: jesus_rollerblading_christ.png]

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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11-04-2014, 06:48 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(10-04-2014 02:12 PM)Artie Wrote:  
(10-04-2014 01:58 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
Quote:Both are right and both are wrong. It's situational, contextual, culturally relative and ... what's the word I'm looking for? Ah, yes... subjective.

1. The definition of subjective is: "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions." There's no mention of "situational, contextual or culturally relative". So murdering you can be both right or wrong based on the murderers "personal feelings, tastes, or opinions".

Moral decisions are "situational, contextual or culturally relative".
In Governance we reserve the word subjective for referring to metrics.
... which is why Rahn's comment much, much earlier in this thread (post #121) is correct (except for educational purposes).

The stakeholders in the decision-making process are subject to their own drivers / needs... which are "situational, contextual or culturally relative" as they are derived from "personal [and/or group values] feelings, tastes [and] opinions".

Quote:2. Name one situation where murdering you would be morally correct.

Individual behaviour is derived from a combination or group ethics and individual ethics.

In situations where my individual behaviour engenders unacceptable risk for others (groups or individuals) it is quite conceivable that taking me out permanently would be the morally correct solution.

This could even be extended to self-murder (ignoring the obvious that "murder" is a legally defined term) whereby I might sacrifice my own life for the benefit of a group to which I belong.

Quote:
Quote:Guitar Nut again has made a point that I was going to ask you:

If evolution's reward to us for our moral behaviour is survival... why do we die?

Consider
The point is to survive and reproduce. Individuals die because resources are limited and there has to be a balance between births and deaths.

Nope. Individuals die because there were no environmental pressures causing us to evolve into creatures that live forever.

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